Br. Miles said if we could take just one thing away from this retreat, let it be this, “Effort is progress.” If we feel dry or if we seem not to be progressing on the spiritual path, remember that if we are making effort, then progress is happening, even if we fail to perceive it at the moment.
A story: A monk had been feeling discouraged in his seeming lack of progress in his meditations. He was thinking that if only he could hold Master’s hand everything would be all right. As he entered the ashram, Master arrived with some other monks, but he paid no attention to the monk. Then Master entered the elevator, and just as the door was closing, he looked straight at this monk and said, “Meet me on the third floor.” Well, this monk ran up the stairs so fast that he was waiting for Master as the elevator opened. Master reached his hands out and took the monk’s hands in his.
Another story: A boy who was participating in the summer youth camp had a great longing to shake Daya Mata’s hand. When he heard that Daya Ma was coming to visit the camp he expressed this wish to his group leader who advised him that maybe an opportunity would come, but not to be too disappointed if it did not. Ma came and visited with the many participants, but the boy never had the chance to shake her hand. Before she left, pictures were taken (the picture is on frontispiece of one of her audio tapes) and just after this picture was taken, without any prompting, Ma turned to this boy, gently took both of his hands in hers and gently shook them. The boy was so happy and went around saying over and over, “There is this wonderful feeling in my heart that I never felt before!”
Brahmachari Miles, 1999 SRF Retreat, from devotee notes
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